Whales and Elephants

Sun, 2011-09-04 07:23 by cmoss

I'm posting a link to a fascinating interview with Toni Frohof on whales. There is so much overlap in what she's looking at in whales and dolphins and what we're trying to understand in elephants that I thought it was worth posting this interview.

Encounter with Essien

Thu, 2011-09-01 14:09 by ssayialel
Eudora and Essien at five years old Essien behind the car

Amboseli Elephants are renowned for their tolerance to close proximity to human beings. This makes them easy to study and offers a close wildlife encounter to tourists. The lack of fear is mostly displayed by individuals and families that use and forage in conflict-free areas and by those that mainly use the park as their home range. It’s a different case with families that are exposed to poaching and human-elephant conflicts: they won’t let humans get to within fifty metres before taking off in a frenzied run.

Ivory in China

Tue, 2011-08-30 17:16 by cmoss

A recent report by Esmond Bradley Martin and Lucy Vigne shows that at least 63% of ivory items for sale in China are illegal. See the article at:

Latest IFAW blog post: Flexibility Brings Success for the GBs

Tue, 2011-08-09 17:48 by Vicki
GarbaTulla getting feisty. I love this image so much, I had to include it in the gallery, although I used it in last month's IFAW post. She got very cross with these impala, who came running into the middle of the family. Gerard lost his mother in 2007 but he seems to be coping well. I think the "gang" of young males in the family keep him well occupied.

What a month it's been! ATE has been exceptionally busy with attending the ivory burning at Manyani and our collaring operation. Our core monitoring and research activities also continue of course, and I confess it's good to spend more time with the elephants now these big events are over.

Elephant Baby Boom

Tue, 2011-08-09 10:14 by cmoss

One of our regular visitors asked about the upcoming baby boom. We predict that it will start in December. The last time something like this happened was at the end of 1978. There was a terrible drought in Amboseli in 1975-76 with the result that many calves died and at the same time the females were in poor condition and stopped reproductive cycling. Half of the calves born in 1976 died and only two calves were born in 1977. No more calves were born until November 1978, but from that point on into 1979 and 1980 baby elephants seemed to be raining from the sky.

ANP Wildlife census

Fri, 2011-08-05 15:49 by ssayialel
AERP Census team, Patrick, Soila, Cynthia and Robert. Coke's Hartebeest

The Amboseli National Park Management and Scientific Authority recently organized and undertook a wildlife census on 23rd July 2011 in the Amboseli National Park. This was towards the need to monitor population changes and habitat use by wildlife species.
The exercised carried out by KWS with assistance from SFS (School for Field Studies), Amboseli Serena and AERP. Each institution provided a vehicle and a couple of staff for the exercise.

The Cast of Characters

Mon, 2011-07-18 13:05 by Vicki
The AA family en route to the swamp. Gertrude from the GB2 family was unconvinced by me one morning...

Amboseli is drying out fast after a very poor rainy season in March: although we posted about our excitement at the onset of the first rains, it didn't last. The elephants are still doing fine, although this is a difficult period as they come into increasing conflict with livestock for access to food and water. Nonetheless I've been enjoying spending time with the IFAW study families who are all well. My next blog post is now live, and is an introduction to the families I study.

Today in Pictures - Zelig in Musth

Thu, 2011-07-07 17:04 by bntawuasa
Zelig on the road, he came and walked right next to the car close-up

NAME: Zelig
CODE: 0365
DOB: 1982
AGE: 29

Vanity Fair Article - Agony and Ivory

Wed, 2011-07-06 20:13 by cmoss

In the August issue of Vanity Fair, which is on the newsstands now, there is a disturbing and very revealing article on the poaching of elephants in Africa. I urge you all to read it. Attached below is a PDF of the article.

2011 Newborn Elephant Calf

Wed, 2011-06-15 13:21 by ssayialel
Freya on the left, her first born male Fabrice and Flickr on the right bunching together protecting the new born Newborn trying to suckle from allomother Flickr

I am proud to announce that we have finally recorded our first successful Elephant birth of 2011 after a stillbirth that was witnessed by Katito and Graeme in a previous post. Our records show the last birth dates back seven months ago. This high decline in birth rate correlates with the 2009 drought when few female elephants came into estrus. Elephant breeding patterns are mostly determined by the availability of food, and they may conceive in response to a good rainfall period, resulting in an increased birth number 21 – 23 months later.